Even the Cable News Anchors Realize Their Networks Are Bad

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper deserves credit for taking his show to Africa recently to publicize the famine in Niger — but let’s not get carried away.

On Thursday, Cooper used his program to criticize his “cable competitors” for their “downright ridiculous” coverage of the Natalee Holloway kidnapping case in Aruba, Page Six reports. “Cooper showed clips of [MSNBC’s Dan] Abrams and Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteren.”

This prompted an angry response from Abrams:

“I love it when media folks try to jump on the journalistic high horse,” Abrams slammed back the next night. He pointed out that Cooper’s CNN colleagues Larry King and Nancy Grace have both been covering the Holloway disappearance. What was “holier-than-thou” Cooper covering? “The disappearance of the newlywed on a cruise ship . . . women who love killers and the Jackson jurors,” Abrams said. “You might want to take a 360-degree look around your own house and clean it up, before telling us which disinfectant we should use in our kitchen.”

Neither Abrams nor Cooper have much credibility in this debate. But it’s comforting to see both express a bit of shame over the vapid “news” coverage their networks slop out each day. (Give them some encouragement — visit, our new campaign to persuade broadcast networks to start covering legitimate stories like the ongoing genocide in Darfur.)